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The Latest About Israel and the Middle East (a roundup of important news items)

Are Israel and Saudi Arabia “allies” against Iran?
The Taylor Force Act makes its way through Congress
Will the US finally move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem? An update
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The Chizuk Mission Continues

The group spent the entire day Wednesday in Yerushalayim, which began early for their visit to the Temple Mount. Yaakov Hayman, head of the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation, under the umbrella of the Israel Independence Fund, was their guide.

Later that morning, the entire group met with longtime AFSI friend Dan Luria, Executive Director of Ateret Cohanim/the Jerusalem Reclamation fund, who guided them to several special sights inside the Old City.

In the afternoon they traveled toward the Judean Desert, near Maale Amos, to visit Jeremy Gimpel and Ari Abramowitz at the Land of Israel Network, with dinner in Gush Etzion.

The picture below is of members of the group on Har Habayit, sitting on the Eastern Wall. This Wall has special significance as being the only Wall that was in the same place where it was at the time of the Second Temple.

Today, Thursday, the group spent the day in the Shomron.

First on the agenda was a visit with AD Kan in the town of Eli. Here, they learned how MASA, funded by the JEWISH AGENCY, supports and promotes the extreme anti-Zionist “Achvat Amim” group. This group leads anti-Israel activities in the southern Hebron Hills, often in violent confrontations with the IDF. AD Kan is supported by the Israel Independence Fund.

They then continued on to Shilo where they met Elad Ziv and members of the displaced Amona community to learn about progress, or lack thereof, on their new homes.

From there, they visited Har Bracha and the Tommy Waller Christian community project, before returning to Jerusalem.

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AFSI’s Fall 2017 Mission Begins!

AFSI’s Fall 2017 Chizuk Mission kicked off yesterday (Tuesday) with a visit to Palmachim, a beautiful community on the Mediterranean coast, originally created as a kibbutz by members of the Palmach. Today it is also home to a community of Gush Katif refugees who have re-settled in the area.

There, they were guided through Beit Miriam, a new archeological museum, by Moti, originally from Eli Sinai in Gush Katif. They viewed the treasures and photographs of some of the local objects from the sea.

Beit Miriam, archeological museum

From there, the group continued on to visit the ILTV studio in Tel Aviv, in time to celebrate the studio’s 2nd anniversary, which they did on camera with a hearty Mazel Tov!

It was very interesting viewing the behind the scenes action – watching the tape and teleprompters roll.


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AFSI’s Jonathan Grauman speaks at Red Bank, NJ Synagogue

AFSI’s Research Analyst Jonathan Grauman was the guest speaker this past Shabbat at Congregation Beth Shalom in Red Bank, NJ.

Rabbi Dovid Harrison, his wife Hindy and their children graciously hosted Jonathan and his wife Lainee, who had the pleasure to be the recipients of wonderful hospitality and the opportunity to meet and speak with members of the congregation.

Jonathan’s topic during their stay in Red Bank was, AFSI: Supporting Israel at Home and Abroad.

Jonathan spoke during dinner Friday evening to an enthusiastic and knowledgeable group, and continued the conversation on Saturday.

We thank Rabbi Dovid and Rebbitzin Hindy Harrison for their hospitality and the opportunity to speak about AFSI and its support of Israel.

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Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the UN: A Breath of Fresh Air

Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the UN, spoke at Saturday night’s opening session of the annual Israeli-American Council National Conference in Washington, DC.

Her speech was a breath of fresh air after eight years of animosity between the Obama administration and the Israeli government, culminating in the UN passing that disgraceful Resolution 2334, with the US abstaining, at the end of 2016.

Haley has already shown herself to be a friend and supporter of Israel, and on Saturday, she reiterated America’s support for Israel at the UN.

Here are a few excerpts from her speech:
Israel is “the country the United Nations spends half its time on. Unfortunately, I’m not kidding. It seems the breakdown at the UN is to spend half the time on Israel, and half the time on the other member nations.”

The United States allowing this motion (Res. 2334) to pass by not vetoing it “was a cowardly act; and a real low point for America at the UN. What happened with 2334 was a betrayal of our friend in the very forum that has been one of its cruelest and most hostile foes. America was far from being a friend to Israel on that day,”

“It’s a new day at the UN. Slowly but surely, we’re chipping away at the anti-Israel culture. Three weeks ago, the U.S. withdrew from UNESCO. For the U.S. it was a good call and after we considered UNESCO’s pattern of one-sided resolutions, it was an easy call,”

We say, bravo Nikki Haley and thank you for your support.

Read about it here: ‘The United States betrayed Israel at the UN‘ and here:
Top US Diplomat Tells Israeli-American Group: UN Human Rights Council Must Reform, or We Will Leave It

You can view her speech here:
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C’mon Mass Media, Say It: ISLAMIC TERROR

Here we go again, another Islamic terror attack, this one on United States soil in lower Manhattan. This attack was not perpetrated by a “lone wolf” acting because he didn’t get a good job or couldn’t pay his bills. It was done by a Muslim who was determined to kill as many infidels as he could, in the name of Islam.

It’s really very simple. Islam is at war with the Western world, with the ultimate goal of taking over the entire world. They are succeeding very well in Europe, where the native birthrate is practically zero, and the millions of Muslims welcomed into Europe over the past few decades are young, fecund, angry and anti-assimilationist, and understand that they are the tip of the spear in the Muslim war against the West.

And how pathetic is our domestic media? Here are a few examples from the latest attack in New York:

– Former Newsweek journalist Isaac Stone Fish tweeted, “New Yorkers were not reacting to terror by going out for Halloween. New Yorkers were ignoring it because it’s not that important. (emphasis added.)

– CNN TV’s host Jake Tapper commented upon learning that the terrorist was a Muslim and that the terrorist yelled out “Allahu akbar” while perpetrating the attack, by saying that “Allahu akbar” was sometimes said under the most beautiful of circumstances.

– Chris Matthews of MSNBC asked on air (as if he didn’t know the answer), “As a Uzbeki, why would he (the terrorist) have an animus toward the United States?”

– And of course, one must not omit the New York Times from this list. This once-great newspaper, now a tabloid ragsheet posing as the “newspaper of record” has the temerity to state that there was “no single reason” for the terrorist to drive a truck into a crowd of pedestrians. The paper attributed the attack more to a lack of opportunity and financial trouble, even though the terrorist yelled “Allahu Akbar”. To quote, “As with any attack like this, there is no single reason Mr. Saipov reportedly decided to kill innocents,” the article read, going on to claim that “He had come to the United States as a moderate Muslim with dreams of making it.”

And if it couldn’t be made any clearer, the terrorist requested that an ISIS flag hang in his hospital room!
Terrorist Requested ISIS Flag for His Hospital Room, FBI Says

How can it be, that after years of nonstop terrorism around the world in the name of Islam, with hundreds of thousands of individuals murdered and millions wounded and made homeless, that our media still refuse to acknowledge the root cause of terrorism. For shame.

Daniel Greenfield, aka The Sultan Knish, has tremendous commentary on the latest terror attack:
We Didn’t Beat ISIS, It’s Here

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The Balfour Declaration Turns 100!

Below is the full text of the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917:

The Balfour Declaration may have been the impetus in the modern age leading to the re-establishment of the State of Israel. However, the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel goes back nearly 4,000 years. Two Temples were built in the Jewish capital of Jerusalem and subsequently destroyed, and a People was dispersed, only to return after 2,000 years of exile. In more modern times, the First Zionist Congress met in 1897, preceding the Balfour Declaration by 20 years.

The Jewish people are connected to the Land of Israel like no other people to no other land. Although today we are bombarded with fake news about who is indigenous, who was there first, etc., history has proven time and again that it is only the Jews who have a true connection to the Land.

The Balfour declaration led the way for international recognition, and we are thankful, as subsequent to it, it was inevitable that the Jews would once again call Israel their home.

Never in history has a people returned to their rightful home after such a long exile. May there never be another exile.

Clifford May has a thoughtful analysis of the Balfour Declaration and subsequent history in the Washington Times, accessible via this link:
The 100-year-old promise

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Balfour Declaration Centenary

On this Thursday, November 2, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. This short letter, although not a legal document, is best known for initiating the process of recognizing the rights of Jews to reconstitute a state in their ancient homeland. In later years, it was codified in legal documents, including the resolutions that emerged from the San Remo conference in 1920.
The full declaration is presented below.
Foreign Office
November 2nd, 1917
Dear Lord Rothschild,
I have much pleasure in conveying to you. on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet
His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.
Arthur James Balfour
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Where Does Donald Trump Really Stand on Jerusalem and “Settlements”?

During the 2016 presidential campaign, then Republican candidate Donald Trump stated that under his administration, the United States would “recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel.”
Donald Trump: I will ‘recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel’.

Since then, he has commented numerous times on his support for recognizing a united Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and for moving the embassy to Jerusalem – eventually – but he has hedged on actually doing so.

In June of this year, he signed the six month waiver delaying the relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

During the past few weeks, a bill known as the “Greater Jerusalem” law has been circulating in the Knesset that would extend Israeli sovereignty to a number of Jewish communities surrounding Jerusalem. This would effectively increase the Jewish majority of Israel’s capital in relation to the Arab minority.

This bill was supposed to be up for a vote shortly, but reportedly due to U.S. pressure, the vote has been delayed.
Israel delays move to expand Jerusalem, citing US pressure

Regarding the vote, a U.S. official stated, “It’s fair to say that the US is discouraging actions that it believes will unduly distract the principals from focusing on the advancement of peace negotiations. The Jerusalem expansion bill was considered by the administration to be one of those actions.”
US official: Jerusalem expansion bill ‘distracts’ parties from peace

DISTRACTS THE PARTIES FROM PEACE? Nonsense. Just this past month, the sham reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah showed the true face of Arab “unity.” As summarized in Jewish Virtual Library (click HERE):
Under the terms of their agreement, Hamas remains committed to the destruction of Israel and the agreement does not require the group to meet any of the conditions set by the U.S. and other Western nations for entering discussions with the organization. Hamas is expected to recognize Israel’s right to exist, cease terrorism and agree to abide by past agreements signed by Israel and the Palestinians. Worse, from a security standpoint, Hamas is not required to disarm, so it can continue to build up its arsenal of rockets, construct tunnels and engage in terror.

So, what kind of “peace” does President Trump and the administration expect to result from negotiations when one side is still committed to the destruction of the other?

President Trump has selected a number of excellent individuals to represent the administration in the Middle East and Israel. However, we fear that, to paraphrase the president himself, the State Department “swamp” has not yet been drained, and he is unduly influenced by holdovers from the Obama administration, many of whom were no fans of the Jewish State.

We ask the President: when will you live up to your campaign promises and move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, recognize a united Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and accept the fact that Jews have the right to live everywhere, especially in their historic homeland and cradle of Jewish civilization, Judea and Samaria?

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